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Contractors: Tips, Tricks, and What to Avoid

Jefferson Contractor and Property Owner Shaking HandsOne of the biggest challenges in investing in Jefferson’s single-family rental properties is hiring capable, reliable contractors for your property improvements and repairs. When hiring contractors, investors will always prefer those who can provide high-quality work over those who can’t deliver. With just a few simple tips and tricks, you can save yourself the trouble of getting into deals with anything less than what the best contractors have to offer.

As a property owner, getting good contractors is essential to getting good work done. Industry professionals are available to be hired to do work for you. It’s wise to tap into their resources to serve your purpose. That way, you can save some cash. But to find contractors you can build long-term business relationships with, you first need to do your research. Trusted real estate agents, property managers, and other property owners — these are key people you can source information from. You can also research potential contractors online. The web contains many resources that can vet contractors through customer reviews or even professional recommendations.

One way to get in touch with great contractors is through referrals. Quality contractors will be transparent about their service. One way you can verify this is by asking them for a name or two of previous clients who can vouch for them. Once you get a name, be sure to ask specific questions about the contractor’s reliability, cost, responsiveness, and flexibility. Was there a thorough discussion before agreeing upon a price? If concerns and changes were brought to the table, were they open to it? Should you still have doubts, it would be wise to continue the search for a good contractor who can offer you the details you are looking for.

Once you have several potential contractors vetted, ask them to give you a bid. The bid will provide you with a calculation of what to pay for the work, as well as the contractor’s calculation of the work. If it’s significantly lower than the other bids, it might be dubious. Don’t go for the lowest bid offered. The contractor might try to attract clients with very low bids, only to dish out additional charges later on. It’s also possible that the contractor doesn’t want to have to obtain the required work permits. Make it a point to examine details so as not to overpay for your contractor’s work. Aim for the middle bid, which will likely be the most realistic.

While you’re at it, be thorough in your canvassing and be aware of potential warning signs. This could save you a lot of potential trouble. Check with your state licensing board and search local court records for your contractor’s name. Make certain that your contractors are licensed. Otherwise, they bring with them a serious liability to your rental property. A large number of complaints or lawsuits are problematic. Just as problematic, is when the contractor barely answers the phone or responds to messages. While a few missed phone calls are not a sure sign of trouble, if more than 24 hours pass without a response, move on.

Here are more warning signs to keep watch for during the bidding process. If and when a contractor asks you to deposit a large sum upfront, that should cause you to be suspicious. Anything more than 15% should be cause for concern. You should suspect any contractor who makes big promises about how much they can do within a specific timeframe, or when they demand unlimited time. In your search for a contractor who is both effective and efficient, don’t forget to set your project costs and completion times realistically.

Searching for the right contractors for your investment property improvements and repairs will be time-consuming. But when the time finally comes that you come across the one person who can get the job done, you can be sure that your property management journey will significantly smoothen out. Because life is short, Real Property Management Stellar is committed to helping you achieve the most of what you can. Let us help you find the right contractor now! Feel free to contact us online or by phone at 706-864-5456. We’ll be glad to answer any of your questions.

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